Software engineering standards determine practices that `compliant' software processes shall follow. standards generally define practices in terms of constraints that must hold for documents. The document types identified by standards include typical development products, such as user requirements, and also process-oriented documents, such as progress reviews and management reports. The degree of standards compliance can be established by checking these documents against the constraints. It is neither practical nor desirable to enforce compliance at all points in the development process. Thus compliance must be managed rather than imposed.
We outline a model of standards and compliance and illustrate it with some examples. We give a brief account of the notations we have developed tosupport the use of the model and describe a support environment we have constructed. We contrast our approach to related work and discuss the broader implications of our findings for process modelling and the management of inconsistent information.